Happy Friday! Over the last year we have learned to persevere through toilet paper shortages, for some working from home, and for others you became teachers. We developed contingency plans to get through the next thing that was thrown at us. Contingency plans are helpful. They help us navigate through trouble seen or foreseen. Join us today as we begin our reading in 1 Thessalonians chapter three (3).
Bible verse – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8 NLT
“Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, 2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, 3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. 4 Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. 5 That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless.
6 But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. 7 So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. 8 It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.”
The reoccurring theme in these verses is troubles will come, but remain strong in your faith.
The concerns Apostle Paul had for the Thessalonian believers was valid. They were new to the faith and they could easily be detoured by false prophets or the weight of persecution against the church at that time. Paul was relieved to hear how the Thessalonian believers remained committed to the message of the Good News. While many believers were being persecuted for their faith, their faith and love did not falter. Praise God – the believers were unshaken.
Sisters and brothers, every believer goes through a period of time when troubles arise, if it hasn’t happened yet – you are fortunate, but aren’t above it. Throughout scripture we read about the troubles believers encountered and endured while we are not exempt the examples in the Bible give us wisdom and encouragement during times of trouble.
When troubles come, besides for recognizing that there is trouble/or a problem, let us turn to the greatest problem solver of them all – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who reigns victoriously. Allow the comfort of the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart and strengthen your faith. Surround yourself with sisters and brothers in the faith with proven character to encourage and uplift others in the faith.
As believers our response to trouble is what will build character and faith. It’s also a time where other faithful believers can come alongside and strengthen us.
This week think about your contingency plan for times when troubles come – how will you remain strong? The first thing on the list should be:
- Invite the Lord to help you.
- What will be your number 2, 3 and 4 on your contingency plan?
Father God we thank you for the words in Isaiah 43:2, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Lord, these verses are our prayer today. Lord, show yourself faithful to your word. Strengthen us and help us to remain strong in our faith. Lord, we pray for racism to end…that is our big bold prayer today. Lord, we know no one else can conquer this task alone. We need you, Lord! Unite us in faith and in love, but most of all as children of the living One True God. In Jesus name, amen.
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